Open letter in Times newspaper on EU membership

University leaders, including Professor David Latchman CBE, Master of Birkbeck, have written an open letter – published in today’s Times newspaper – to highlight the significant benefits that UK universities secure from the country’s membership of the European Union.

The letter – signed by the President of Universities UK and members of the Universities UK board (listed below) – states that the UK’s membership of the European Union is central to the success of UK higher education and to ‘universities’ positive impact on the economy and society’.

Below is the letter and full list of signatories:

Sir, Britain’s universities are national assets which contribute £73 billion to the economy and they drive innovation and growth. The UK’s membership of the European Union is central to that success and to universities’ positive impact on the economy and society.

The UK benefits directly from £1.2 billion annually in European research funding and is the largest beneficiary of EU research funds to universities. This supports UK-based research and transnational research projects which pool knowledge to solve social and economic challenges in a way that no country acting alone could do.

EU programmes facilitate the mobility of researchers, staff and students, providing opportunities for young people and contributing to the excellence of our research base. EU structural funds invest in British skills and infrastructure to deliver local economic growth and support university-business collaboration.

Without an influential voice in the development of EU policy, the UK would lose its ability to influence policy affecting research and higher education.

As university leaders, we are committed to ensuring that these benefits of EU membership to the British people and to our universities are properly understood, and that our voices are heard in the debate about EU reform.

Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, University of Surrey

And members of the Universities UK board:

Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff University (Chair, Higher Education Wales)

Professor Pete Downes OBE, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Dundee (Convenor, Universities Scotland)

Professor David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor, University of Birmingham

Professor Simon Gaskell, Principal, Queen Mary, University of London

Professor Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor, Oxford Brookes University

Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor, University of Reading

Professor Michael Gunn, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Staffordshire University

Professor Julian Crampton, Vice-Chancellor, University of Brighton

Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow DBE, Vice-Chancellor, University of Kent

Professor Graham Henderson CBE, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Teesside University

Professor David Latchman CBE, Master, Birkbeck, University of London

Professor Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Glasgow

Professor Mary Stuart, Vice-Chancellor, University of Lincoln

Professor Chris Brink, Vice-Chancellor, Newcastle University

Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Aberdeen

Professor Sir Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor, University of Bristol

Professor Dame Julia King DBE, Vice-Chancellor, Aston University

Professor Paul O’Prey, Vice-Chancellor, University of Roehampton

Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, University of the West of England, Bristol

Professor Michael Farthing, Vice-Chancellor, University of Sussex

Professor Nick Petford, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Northampton

Professor Chris Husbands, Director, Institute of Education

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